back to article BBC to put shows on iTunes 'next week'

The BBC's commercial arm is expected to announce a deal to distribute shows via the iTunes video store next week. A TV industry source claims BBC Worldwide will on Tuesday detail plans to set up shop at Apple's online media mall. Our source says BBC Worldwide's digital media director Simon Danker has contacted the BBC's third …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. peter

    Even less reason to pay the licence fee

    The iplayer site already says "You do not need a television licence to watch television programmes on the current version of the BBC iPlayer". As long as it's not live (or Sat uplinked with a delay) this method saves me £11.30 a month for a TV licence which cuts my broadband bill in half.

  2. J-Wick
    Thumb Up


    I live in the US (ex-pat) and would love to be able to download BBC TV shows. I'd even pay for them.

    Did you hear that, Auntie?


  3. Danny Thompson
    Jobs Horns

    Bargain prices in the UK as usual

    £1.89 is roughly $3.78. But hold on a moment .... the American's price of $1.99 translates to £0.99. So that means for the benefit of being able to buy a show here in the UK we have to pay a premium of £0.90 per show. A premium for what exactly? What exactly is the value-add that brings in a £0.90 additional charge?

    How about some transparency in such international pricing? Perhaps when Ms Reding (EU) has finished with the mobile network operators she could turn her gaze upon US companies selling their soft product in Europe for such extortionate uplifts.

    Nasty Steve. Very nasty. We don't like you for that.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What Content?

    AFAIR the BBC gave up ownership of most programming years ago and just licenses airing rights for the UK. Other than news and current events, it's not clear what programming they would be able to provide to Apple as the production companies that actually own the programs would want to cut their own deals.

  5. Martin Owens


    Once again us poor friggin linux users are given the sharp boot in the nuts from business types who don't understand what _standards_ and free and open market places are. Now we have the option of hacking up iTunes store, downloading the shows illegally or just shunning everything coming out of the UK as complete trite anyway.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rip off Britain!!!!!

    I would love to see the cost based justification for charging nearly double the price in the US for a TV episode.

    Currency fluctuations aside the US does seem to insist on $1 to £1 conversion rates at the expense of the UK consumer and the profit of a foreign company. I understand tax rates may vary and account for some of the costs, i also understand that advertising costs may also vary but it cant justify a 100% price increase.

    However that said i do appreciate that a business should set the highest price a consumer will pay. In competitive markets thats just fine but in with a monopoly or a unofficial cartel its just exploitation.

    Perhaps the Government would like to take the incredibly popularist stance of taking the rip of Britain issue up with foreign companies and if it continues then use the might of the EU to shake some trees.

    After all it would reduce UK expenditure, the amount of money leaving the UK, the rate of inflation, the national debt, the balance of payments etc.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    So I assume you don't need to watch any other broadcast TV in the UK then - you're happy with just the BBC channels then - no Sky, Freeview or other channels? ;)

  8. Joe K

    Shocking price conversions

    Apple should take a leaf out of Sony's book.

    Downloadable content off the PS3 network is usually cheaper than US prices, for instance a $8 download works out at £3.49.

    This is almost universal, except when idiot publishers try to rip us off by charging more than a few quid for a bloody level pack.

    Don't buy from iTunes at all, especially with Play now offering very cheap DRM free songs.

    If we don't vote with our wallets, we're just asking to be ripped off.

  9. John Latham


    What is a "show"? I thought the BBC made programmes.


  10. Anonymous Coward

    Rip off Britain!!!!!

    > Perhaps the Government would like to take the incredibly popularist stance of taking the rip of Britain issue up with foreign companies and if it continues then use the might of the EU to shake some trees.

    Why wait for the Government to do something about the problem? There's less of a chance of that happening than Paris and Britney find a solution to global warming.

    The solution is in your own hands. If you can buy something more cheaply or more conveniently elsewhere, do that. For added points, send a letter - one of those things that has an envelope and a stamp - to the Managing Director of the UK company that's setting the higher price telling them what you've done and why. Or if you really want to make trouble, become a shareholder and raise the issue at the company's AGM.

  11. Richard Penna

    Re price conversions

    I would love Jeremy Paxman to get Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in a room together, and refuse to let them out until they justify why they both charge double in the UK what they charge in the US. I remember Huw Edwards asking that question to Gates, and he completely let him off the hook after the lamest 'its all about economic/exchange rates... which I don't follow.. but, ummm I wouldn't expect there to be any... massive differences... ummm'.

    Just admit it - you're ripping us of for something that in the digital case, costs $0.00 more to sell to us.

    It's made even worse because we're paying the licence fee and the Americans don't yet they get it cheaper.

  12. Paul

    @ What Content?

    >>AFAIR the BBC gave up ownership of most programming years ago and just licenses airing rights for the UK<<

    Not true.

    The BBC commissions programmes from independent producers, yes, but it's far from "most programming" and the "ownership" is shared.

    "Ownership" of TV programmes is a misnomer in any case: any programme comes with a plethora of rights and contracts for a multitude of contributors. Actors, writers, producers, set designers and so on all have a stake, and get royalties. And don't forget that most BBC programmes include copyrighted music as well.It has always been like this - it is nothing new.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Annonymous Coward re License Fee

    "So I assume you don't need to watch any other broadcast TV in the UK then - you're happy with just the BBC channels then - no Sky, Freeview or other channels? ;)"

    The license fee is to pay for the BBC only. All other broadcast channels are self funded by advertising. Sky is conditional access based on a subscription to them. You seem to miss this point. License fee relates to BBC only.

    So yes there is even less reason to pay the license fee. Even worse we pay a license fee and then they want to sell us the programming twice. Once on broadcast by a license fee and then again on iTunes to watch it in a different format.

    Truly the last great swindle in the British media.

  14. Peter Dawe
    Jobs Horns

    Free TV on iPhone, why pay Apple?

    Digital Video Recorders such as the Babel.TV can now transcode programmes to display on iPhone and post them as podcasts, to be picked up the next time the iPhone is synchronised to your personal iTunes server.

    For personal use this is free and not illegal!!!

    With a 750Gb HD drives being able to store 1,000s of hours of iPhone quality TV, costing less than £100 why will people pay £1s per episode to download via iTunes etc?


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @@ Annonymous Coward re License Fee

    The license fee may only fund the BBC, but you have to pay it regardless of watching the BBC or not.

    You're also missing the point that it is BBC Worldwide striking a deal with Apple, BBC Worldwide is the commercial arm of the BBC.

  16. tardigrade
    Thumb Down

    Free downloads!

    I take it that I will get all of the BBC iTunes downloads for FREE. Seeing as I have already paid for these programmes via my TV License?


    Thought not.

  17. Neil Jones
    Thumb Down

    @ tardigrade

    Why ask the question if you knew the pretty obvious answer? Oh, I see, you were showing us all how clever you are.

    Do you expect to walk out of HMV with an armfull of David Attenborough DVDs for free because you've paid your license fee?

    If you want to watch it in the future without paying for it, then video it or burn it to DVD. No-ones taking away your right to do that, so what's your problem?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Paul re What Content

    Paul, I think you've misunderstood, afaict the AC in "What Content?" has hit the nail on the head. Not much of what you watch on the BBC these days is solely owned by the BBC [1]; your own post points out that if the BBC don't have sole rights, then the Beeb almost certainly need someone else's agreement (the other rights owner(s)) before the stuff can be redistributed.

    You also mention the fact that many BBC programmes include copyrighted music. Dr Who fans will have enjoyed the Dr Who Confidential series, which wasn't on the DVDs, even though Dr Who is actually one of the few notable "BBC" programmes. Why not? Because of rights issues over the music in the programmes (some of which was contemporary chart type musak). Maybe someone should have foreseen that, but they didn't.

    Even apparently classic BBC stuff like "Coast" isn't a BBC-owned production; the Open University have joint rights to that one.

    The continued non-appearance of the BBC Creative Archive, announced by Greg Dyke back in 2003, highlights the fact that getting "BBC content" out there is a non trivial exercise even when there's no money changing hands to argue over and when most of the content in question predates the "independent production" era:

    And let's ignore the larger question in this picture: why people who can spell torrent will choose to pay for stuff they can already get at zero cost, and which they can get without any DRM infestation. Unless the pigopolists can get the ISPs to act as their enforcers, which hasn't worked so far.

    [1] There may be lots of programmes which are "pure BBC", but how many big name productions are "pure BBC"? Not many.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021